Study shows that damaged telomeres in elderly may increase susceptibility to the coronavirus.
It all starts with one protein called ACE2. It is an enzyme that cuts up bigger proteins into smaller proteins, and then go on to regulate functions in the cell.
In relation to the coronavirus, the virus binds to ACE2 before entry into the cell and attaches it onto ACE2 in order to enter the cell. A likely reason that symptoms are so much more severe in elderly is due to the fact that the expression of ACE2 is more relevant the older the patients' age. In children and young adults, there is lower ACE2 expression, explaining why COVID is less prevalent in younger children. In the lungs ACE2 is mostly found on the surface of ATII cells and are the primary target for COVID.